San Francisco business owner sells hand-crafted dog leashes, benefitting shelters

- An enterprising San Francisco dog owner/rockclimber has found a way to combine his two passions to help rescued animals.

It's called Ropes for Rescues, a program launched Ryan Dempsey and his company called Dogpatch SF.

Dempsey has a full-time gig as a bartender at "The Page" bar on Divisadero by night... but by day, he painstakingly cleans, measures, cuts and cauterizes used climbing rope, crafting it into homemade dog leashes .

"We never know what the story is going to be with each rope," Dempsey says, brushing his long reddish-blonde hair out of his eyes to focus on hammering metal clips onto the rope. The 35 year old entreprenuer has the system down to the hooks he attaches onto the rope at his crafts table in a Bayview Warehouse.

"I adopted this dog named Rascal... he was an Australian Shepherd and I just loved this dog to death. I was into rock climbing at the time and I had an old rope that wasn't safe to climb with anymore so I cut it up, made a leash for him."

Thus, Dogpatch SF was born. Before Dempsey knew it, he had multiple orders from friends who wanted the same leash.

He convinced climbing gyms and climbers themselves to donate old ropes.

"My friends had all these stories - [they'd] be like oh, I took it to Yosemite, I took it to Joshua Tree so people really liked the idea of where the rope has been. And they're also helping support a local rescue," said Dempsey.

Dogpatch SF donates 20 percent of the leashes made to 156 animal rescues from Northern California to Ecaudor to the Galapagos Islands.

Muttville is his favorite San Francisco shelter.

"We rescue senior dogs- that's seven years and older," said Erick Smith, with Muttville Senior Dog Rescue. "The average Muttville dog is only here about 30 days which is amazing because they were given up on at other shelters and slated for euthanasia."

On sunny days, Dempsey sells the leashes along the Embarcadero, $25 for a four-foot leash, $30 for a six-foot long leash. Gareth Burton, visiting from London, bought one today at the Dogpatch SF booth.

"This is great cause, it's recycling what would otherwise just be thrown away, so it's fantastic!" said Burton.
"It's a great idea, great cause," said Gerry Forker, of Laguna Niguel, another Ropes for Rescue customer.
Demspey's rescue dog Rascal has now gone to doggie heaven, but he thinks of him, his inspiration, as he churns out dozens of leashes each day.

"There's a lot of rope leashes out there but these are the only ones that have like a soul and like a story to em," said Dempsey with a smile.

And it's a story that lives on with other rescue dogs.

If you're interested in donating used rope, there are two drop off locations in San Francisco; one at the Sports Basement off Bryant and one at the San Francisco SPCA.

For more information, Dempsey's website is <a data-cke-saved-href="http://An enterprising San Francisco dog owner/rockclimber has found a way to combine his two passions to help rescued animals. It's called Ropes for Rescues, a program launched Ryan Dempsey and his company called Dogpatch SF. Dempsey has a full-time gig as a bartender at " href="http://An enterprising San Francisco dog owner/rockclimber has found a way to combine his two passions to help rescued animals. It's called Ropes for Rescues, a program launched Ryan Dempsey and his company called Dogpatch SF. Dempsey has a full-time gig as a bartender at " the="" page"="" bar="" on="" divisadero="" by="" night...="" but="" day,="" he="" painstakingly="" clean,="" measures,="" cuts="" and="" cauterizes="" used="" climbing="" rope,="" crafting="" it="" into="" homemade="" dog="" leashes="" .="" "we="" never="" know="" what="" story="" is="" going="" to="" be="" with="" each="" rope,"="" dempsey="" says,="" brushing="" his="" long="" reddish-blonde="" hair="" out="" of="" eyes="" focus="" hammering="" metal="" clips="" onto="" rope.="" 35="" year="" old="" entreprenuer="" has="" system="" down="" hooks="" attaches="" rope="" at="" craftstable="" in="" a="" bayview="" warehouse.="" "i="" adopted="" this="" named="" rascal...="" was="" an="" australian="" shepherd="" i="" just="" loved="" death.="" rock="" time="" had="" that="" wasn't="" safe="" climb="" anymore="" so="" cut="" up,="" made="" leash="" for="" him.="" thus,="" dogpatch="" sf="" born.="" before="" knew="" it,="" multiple="" orders="" from="" friends="" who="" wanted="" same="" leash.="" convinced="" gyms="" climbers="" themselves="" donate="" ropes.="" "my="" all="" these="" stories="" -="" [they'd]="" like="" oh,="" took="" yosemite,="" joshua="" tree="" people="" really="" liked="" idea="" where="" been.="" they're="" also="" helping="" support="" local="" rescue,"="" said="" dempsey.="" donates="" 20="" percent="" 156="" animal="" rescues="" northern="" california="" ecaudor="" galapagos="" islands.="" muttville="" favorite="" san="" francisco="" shelter.="" rescue="" senior="" dogs-="" that's="" seven="" years="" older,"="" erick="" smith,="" rescue.="" "the="" average="" only="" here="" about="" 30="" days="" which="" amazing="" because="" they="" were="" given="" up="" other="" shelters="" slated="" euthanasia."="" sunny="" days,="" sells="" along="" embarcadero,="" $25="" four-foot="" leash,="" $30="" six-foot="" gareth="" burton,="" visiting="" london,="" bought="" one="" today="" booth.="" "this="" great="" cause,="" it's="" recycling="" would="" otherwise="" thrown="" away,="" fantastic!"="" burton.="" "it's="" idea,="" cause,"="" gerry="" forker,="" laguna="" niguel,="" another="" ropes="" customer.="" demspey's="" rascal="" now="" gone="" doggie="" heaven,="" thinks="" him,="" inspiration,="" as="" churns="" dozens="" day.="" "there's="" lot="" there="" are="" ones="" have="" soul="" em,"="" smile.="" lives="" dogs.="" if="" you're="" interested="" donating="" two="" drop="" off="" locations="" francisco;="" sports="" basement="" bryant="" spca.="" more="" information,="" dempsey's="" website="" www.ropesforrescues.com."="" target="_blank">www.ropesforrescues.com.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In - Includes Advertiser Stories